( – promoted by Colorado Pols)
Many people opposing immigration reform protest that they are not anti-immigrant, but rather anti-ILLEGAL immigrant. But is this really true?
Let’s think this out. At a basic level there are two reasons to oppose an unauthorized immigrant being here: (a) he/she has not gone through all the correct checks (“Class A”); or (b) he/she is here in the first place (“Class B”). By way of a quick example – if the wife of a US Marine snuck into the country, I am probably not against her being here, rather just against the fact that she did not come in legally. On the other hand, if a member of Al Qaeda is the one who snuck in, I am against not only the fact that the member of Al Queda snuck in, but also the fact that he/she is here in the first place.
Now what implications does this have for the correct use of terms? If the only opposition to an immigrant’s presence is based on Class A concerns, the solution is simple: you create an avenue for the same to be here legally. However, if the opposition to the presence is based on Class B concerns, then there is no desire to create such an avenue – because you don’t want such an immigrant here at all.
In the current immigration debate, one of the major groups is NumbersUSA. It supports not just opposition to illegal acts of immigration, but also supports “reductions in immigration numbers.”
This is opposition not just to illegal immigration but also legal immigration. Others, who don’t care about numbers so much but rather are fixated on opposing legalization for unauthorized immigrants because they “broke the rules.” This opposition is not just to the fact that these immigrants broke rules, it is also to these immigrants’ mere presence. Opposing these immigrants’ presence, and not just their prior rule breaking, is more than just being anti-their-illegal acts. It is also being anti-them-immigrating-here-at-all. And what is another term for being against a person immigrating here at all? Oh yeah – anti-immigrant.
So let’s start being honest in this debate. If you are against a person being in this country, just say so. But don’t pretend that it is just their illegal acts you oppose. Often it is more than that – it is the presence itself. For if otherwise, the solution would be simple: legalization.